You want to make something happen. More money. More muscle. A more meaningful life.
If you’re to have any hope of arriving at your goal, you first need to get into the right mindset. Only then can correct actions follow.
And the mindset you want to cultivate is not one of “reasonable expectations” or Zen-like tranquility. It’s one of craziness. Of genuine desperation.
The great Samurai general Lord Naoshige, whose story and sayings are found in the timeless Hagakure, put it simply:
“The Way of the Samurai is in desperateness. Ten men or more cannot kill such a man. Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate.”
Only a crazy person is audacious enough to brave the many obstacles that lie in the way of achievement. Only a truly desperate person can defeat the people that fight back–that don’t want to give up any territory to the new kid on the block.
Lord Naoshige’s words are just as true today as they were 400 years ago.
Modern “common sense” says that you shouldn’t work too hard. That you shouldn’t become too obsessed with a goal. That you should release yourself from the burdens of desire and pursuit and just be thankful for what you have.
These philosophies are quickly embraced by the more “well-adjusted” members of society. You know, the “normal” folk that are, on average, 23 pounds overweight, that watch 34 hours of TV per week, and that have over $100,000 in debt and less than $4,000 in savings.
Well, call me boorish, but I’m not really interested in their advice. Those types of platitudes don’t sound like common sense to me. They sound like admissions of defeat. Justifications for weakness.
I’m of the mind that life is meant to be lived. That it’s an action, not a state of mind. And if we’re going to get into action, we’d better be going somewhere worthwhile. And that only the crazy ones actually make it to the places worth visiting.
Crazy is working twice as much as everyone you know. Crazy is waking up at the crack of dawn to get in your workouts. Crazy is practicing that skill for thousands of hours. It’s pursuing that goal that others don’t believe in and taking risks they can’t face.
Napoleon said that “death is nothing, but to live defeated is to die every day.” That’s desperation. It’s the feeling that you must not be beaten. That everything is on the line. That only an “all-in” commitment is appropriate and that the only excuse for failure is simply a failure of will.
So, what would you like to make happen? Well, what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking. To quote from the Hagakure again:
“Death seems a long way off. Is this not shallow thinking? It is worthless and is only a joke within a dream…. Insofar as death is always at one’s door, one should make sufficient effort and act quickly.”
It’s time to decide. Are you crazy enough to make things happen? Are you desperate enough to see them through?